Have been surprised and pleased this morning to see that Maloney’s Law was floating around at Number 36 in the Amazon UK gay fiction charts. It’s now dropped of course, but it was lovely while it lasted.
I’m also pleased to say that Two Christmases gained another five-star rating at the Goodreads site, which has been another boost. Much-needed as I do find this last run-up to Christmas rather depressing. Echoes of the year is nearly over and what the heck have I done with it?? are flying round my head, dammit. Ah well.
However, keeping on the writing front, I was thrilled to receive a lovely email from my independent editor, Sarah Abel, who is currently editing The Gifting for me ready for self-publication next year. She wrote: “I’ve read through your manuscript twice now and I just wanted to tell you that I think your story is Amazing! A real page-turner, I didn’t want to put it down (the second time through as well!) and I want to know what happens next!! This is a grand tale, richly embroidered with tons of action. Plenty of material for the reader’s imagination to work with.”
Well, gosh, honestly those few kind words have been making me cry, I have to say. I know I do joke about it to anyone (very few!) who asks, both face to face and online, but that novel and the whole fantasy series I’m currently writing still that stem from it has given me some of my worst and best moments of the last couple of years. There have been moments of writing when I’ve really been enjoying the whole process of it, but on the other hand the unanimous rejections or complete blanking I’ve received from both the mainstream fantasy press and the small independent press in the UK and US has been absolutely killing. It’s been that, really, which prompted me to give up my agent and to give up any hopes of attempting to get it published in paperback commercially (though there are 2 small epublishers who have as yet not rejected it). I simply couldn’t take the knock-backs any more. Especially as I’d hoped all along that this novel might just be the one to bring me somewhere in the orbits of the mainstream press. Well, it hasn’t been and that’s been an excruciatingly hard lesson to take in. And, yes, I am bitter about it. Very bitter. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. When I started writing fiction in 2000, I gave myself 10 years to try to make some kind of career out of it, and that hasn’t happened. Or at least, not in the manner or to the extent I’d hoped for. A bitter pill to swallow indeed. And, in the end, it’s been that which has set me back on the self-publication route again. Honestly, it’s been as if I’m the only person in the universe who felt there was some glimmer of good writing and good story in The Gifting, and it’s lovely that now someone else has bothered to write and tell me it’s not crap after all. Thank you, Sarah. It’s much appreciated.
Anyway, enough existential sobbing from this particular failing writer – other things in life are just as important as me and my career issues (no! surely not, we cry!). So I’ve finally had enough with the whole Ugandan anti-LGBT people nightmare and have joined Changing Attitude, a group that exists to support LBGT members of the Anglican church. They are also being proactive in condemning the new Ugandan bill – and it was interesting to see last week the Church Times (a better paper than one would ever expect) in one of their articles liken the Ugandan rhetoric used to support the new anti-homosexuality bill and condemn LGBT people as similar to the language Hitler used to condemn the Jews. They’re right too. It’s all very worrying. Just because one may not agree with someone’s lifestyle or attitude is surely no excuse to sentence them to death or fling them in jail. It’s bloody ridiculous. Sigh.
Still, on a less political and serious note, I’m utterly thrilled to see that the lovely Chris & Ola won Strictly Come Dancing. Fab-u-lous, as Craig R-H might say. Double huzzahs and hang out the bunting! I recorded it last night as we were out for dinner with friends (and had a fantastic time, thank you, Liz & John!), so will look forward to basking in the glory later. It will, I hope, ease the incredible pain of losing Terry Wogan on the radio, who broadcast his final breakfast programme on Friday, sob! I’ll really, really miss his ease and wit in the mornings. I will, in the interests of fairness, give Chris Evans a try, but I don’t think I’m going to like him at all – I never have before … A lighter sigh.
However, the good news is that the very kind Elly from our poetry course sent me the sound of the closing/opening doors in Star Trek – after I’d said that when I hear them it never fails to make me smile. What a star, thank you, Elly! Here they are. Lovely – what could be nicer?
This week’s haiku:
In the snowy wood
a deer carves a graceful way
through mist and bare trees.